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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

SAKURA 2018: Day 14--Tokyo to Honolulu

This has been a pleasant and enjoyable Sakura trip.  I wish I had taken that photo to the left, but that came from Insider Journeys.  My flight does not leave Narita until 6:50PM, so here is what I did over the past 24-hours in Japan, starting yesterday for lunch.  I wanted Japanese curry rice with wagyu beef on top, and the Tokyo Westin concierge found a restaurant on the the 38th floor of the adjacent building:


The view was almost everything, and note the goldware:


The food was fine, with unlimited salad and soup:


One problem, though, was the steak on top was not wagyu.  However, the price made up for that shortfall.  Tokyo...view...beef...expensive, right?  The whole meal with tax and no tip cost just less than $20, with the beer one-third the cost.  Fortified, I took the Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station.  Hachi to the left and the obligatory shot of Shibuya Crossing below.  Every two minutes this crowd.  Where are they coming from?  Or going?


All day I was mulling what to do about my final dinner:
  • an expensive Japanese meal....or Robuchon next door
  • a whopper from Burger King, which was close by Robuchon
  • an assortment of Japanese dishes to eat in my room
I walked through the Mitsukoshi market and took a photo of their wagyu:



Cost?  $266/pound.  When was the last time you paid more than $26.60/pound?

About expensive items in Japan, at one time, a $40 musk melon was the prestige gift.  This has now been superseded by the Miyazaki Egg of the Sun mango.  Miyazaki already has the best wagyu beef and cultivated caviar.  Next....truffles?  Anyway, it was today reported that the latest auction of a pair of Miyazaki's premium mangoes weighing a bit over two pounds went for $3,725!!!  And the peak is not until May-June.

I bought two barbecued chicken on sticks, onigiris with nishime, ramen, beer, sake and a plate of chutoro/snapper, with the sashimi fully half the cost of the whole meal:


What an ending.  Well, there was still breakfast this morning, and I went western (french toast, croissant, cinnamon roll, pancake, bacon, omelet, grapes, pineapple, milk, orange juice and cappuccino ) with Singapore noodles:


And that was not all, for I got to Narita Airport, checked in and went to the ANA Lounge.


Those first two photos represent, of course, just a small fraction of the lounge, for there is a large assortment of foodstuffs and drinks, including a station for curry rice and ramen.  There is no way that the United flight I will soon be taking will get close to the above.

It took seven  hours from Narita to Honolulu.  It was a bit bumpy.  I had never before listened to an audio novel.  So I tried Sue Grafton's X.  I turned it on while the plane was still docked.  It must have taken around 7 hours, for as all six chapters were completed, there was an announcement of our landing in Honolulu, which means that I did not sleep a wink.  It was, though, a foggy experience, for, while I pretty much got the story, it's possible that I was sleeping, but my brain retained the essence of the narrative.

If this novel is typical of Sue Grafton, I wonder why she has been so successful, for I felt that sleep would  have been a better option that this audio program.  She started in 1982 with A is for Alibi, went down the alphabet, completing Y is for Yesterday in 2017, and, yikes, she passed away a few months ago.  We were born in the same year.

Arrived home safely, had a Zippy's Chili Moco.  My plants and fish all survived.

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